Working as a truck driver is a demanding job. You probably work very long shifts, likely 10 hours or more on any given day. There are also the physical demands of the career, which include not only remaining alert and attentive while driving for hours on end but also the physical demands of gripping the steering wheel and loading or unloading the cargo in the truck.
Given how hard the job can be, it’s little surprise that truck drivers who aren’t at work want to relax and enjoy their time. For many people, relaxing means enjoying a beer or another alcoholic beverage. Unfortunately, the decision to have a few drinks to relax could mean that you wind up facing serious consequences that could affect your income and ability to keep working, even if you weren’t drunk.
The government holds commercial drivers to a higher standard
When you consider how big and dangerous commercial vehicles are, the risk that they pose to the public is substantial. As such, the federal government has more rules in place restricting the licensing of commercial drivers and their freedoms at the wheel. From additional training and education to limits on how long they can drive, truck drivers must comply with many more laws than those driving passenger vehicles.
In most professions, if you get in trouble on your own time, you don’t have to worry about it affecting your job. However, an impaired driving offense, even if it occurs in your own vehicle, could make you ineligible for commercial driving licensing and preclude you from earning money for the foreseeable future.
Federal laws about drinking with a commercial license
Alcohol limits are stricter for truck drivers. When someone is in control of a commercial vehicle, the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is half of what it is for the average driver. A person in their own vehicle has to have a BAC of at least 0.08% in order for law enforcement to charge them in most cases, but a truck driver only needs to have a BAC of 0.04%.
In fact, the driver does not even need to be on duty for that stricter rule to apply to them. Even if they were just driving their vehicle home or moving it to a different parking location, that limit still applies. While in their personal vehicle, a truck driver is only subject to the 0.08% alcohol limit, the charges they face could end their career.
You can fight any DUI allegations that could hurt your career
Many drivers in Indiana assume that they have no options left once the state brings an impaired driving charge against them. After all, people tend to view chemical breath tests as infallible, but they are actually common sources of mistakes in impaired driving arrests.
Working with an attorney gives you an opportunity to explore defense options and pursue a strategy that can keep you working after impaired driving allegations while you weren’t actually on the job.